I started making handmade cards close to 10 years ago, at the very least.
But now, I want to expand my hobby to become something bigger, more fulfilling. I love customizing my cards for the people I know well and love, to brighten their birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. But why not share my creations with others as well?
I wandered into a local shop in downtown Kent a few weeks ago after hearing the owners might be willing to help me out by selling some of my cards.
I love the atmosphere of small town shops. They’re cozy and unique, and their contents interest me so much, to the point that I could spend hours just browsing around.
After walking around a bit, glancing at gorgeous handmade jewelry – and a few other handmade cards – I approached the front counter and asked the cashier about a consignment opportunity. She simply told me to bring in a few samples of my work, and then we can assess whether my cards are a good fit for their customers from there.
To try something new, but also utilize other media of my work, I decided to print some photos from my dad’s garden at home, my travels overseas and even random photos of my cats to mount on the front of my cards, instead of resorting to the countless other scrapbooking supplies I use so often. (Although I won’t let those all go to waste!) So, 250+ prints later, I have quite the photo collection to get started.
Like the example below, I’m hoping these new cards will entice local visitors to buy them and hopefully become more familiar with my work.
I’m very excited about this opportunity, and as I continue to make progress, I will be sure to document my accomplishments along the way!
A few summers ago I decided to attempt a daunting task: to organize my family’s photos.
Although most of the printed photos we had at that point are now stored away and arranged in a closet at home, it wasn’t easy to sort through many memories from my childhood and moments before my time.
My parents had kept photo prints in envelopes from photo centers, some with accompanying negatives and others without. Some photos were still trapped inside sticky photo album pages and faded in color. Some photos were dated and/or labeled, but it seemed most were not.
I’m sharing this experience because I’d like to emphasize the importance of preserving photos. Sorting through hundreds of photos can leave many questions unanswered. Whose baby is in that photo? Where were these photos taken? And were those people there?
Preserving your printed photos
Do you want to remember your past forever? If so, check out these photo preservation tips:
- Use photo boxes to store loose photos. You can find these at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores or Hobby Lobby. Index cards make great dividers or tabs to categorize the photos by event or year.
- Store your photos in albums with plastic sleeves, similar to page protectors in a binder. The plastic should prevent photos from aging quickly. Avoid albums with sticky paper that keeps photos in place. The glue can damage the photos and make it difficult to remove them from the album.
- Buy photo albums in bulk, especially if they are on sale. If you keep photos in similarly shaped and sized albums, it’s easier to store them in whatever limited space you may have.
- Avoid storing photos in direct sunlight and under artificial indoor lighting. Bright conditions cause photos to fade.
- Keep photos in a cool, dry location in your home. Heat and moisture may speed up the aging process of your photos.
- Most importantly, remember to write the date or year each photo was taken on the back of the photograph, on photo box dividers or inside photo albums.
- Use the five W’s (who, what, where, when and why) to tell the stories behind your photos.
- Always use archival pens or acid-free writing utensils to label photos.
Preserving your digital photos
Technology can go wrong; it’s a fact. And unfortunately, I neglected backing up my files when I got my laptop three years ago. I didn’t have my laptop for a year before it decided to completely re-start itself and I lost everything, including some photos. This wasn’t a fun experience, so I have some advice for others who store photos on their computers:
- Invest in an external hard drive. Back up all your files regularly and store the device in a safe place.
- Keep track of the photos you have uploaded from your memory cards to your computer. Don’t delete photos from your camera until you have confirmed they are backed up.
- Store photo files in folders labeled by month and year, then by date or event. This system works best for me, but you may find it’s easier to use other means of organization.
- Delete bad photos as you upload them. Poor quality photos waste space on your computer and external hard drive.
- Make digital copies of original photos if you decide to edit them with Photoshop, Picnik, etc.
So how do you organize your photos? What works best for you?
Results of simple organization and a bit of creativity.
I spent some time last weekend sorting through my supplies and clearing some craft clutter. It didn’t take me long, and although the “mess” wasn’t completely overwhelming, the process was refreshing.
I recommend you do the same, if needed, of course!
I find these plastic, rolling drawers very handy. I can store my supplies with similar products, and when I need something, I can find it almost instantly. My space still needs some work–my supplies rest near bins of board games and Christmas decorations now. However, I figure I’ll spend more time on finding better space when I someday own a house with a separate craft room: a necessity. (“Scissors, scraps and stickers only, please.”)
Not only am I better organized now, but also I know which supplies I do have. Who knew I had so many ribbons to use? I had even forgotten about the invention of the red eye correction pen years ago, and that I owned one.
So now that I cleansed my supply collection, I decided to work on a few cards for upcoming birthdays and other events: